Leeds primary school wins award for keeping pupils on the move during a year of lockdown

Staff and pupils at a primary school are celebrating after being named Active School of the Year for Leeds, by Yorkshire Sport Foundation.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 11:45 am

The Active School Awards recognised how schools across South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire kept physical education, school sport and physical activity at the heart of school life during the last 12 months.

There were nine district winners from across the two counties, with two overall county winners.

Thorpe Primary School, near Robin Hood, was praised for its needs-led response to the pandemic, including specific ways to engage children identified as standing to benefit the most.

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Year 5 pupils, Lewis and Ava hold the plaque the school was presented with for its achievement.
Year 5 pupils, Lewis and Ava hold the plaque the school was presented with for its achievement.

The school brought activity into other subjects including geography, where a daily mile was part of a project about the local community and the routes taken were shared with parents and carers to encourage activity out of school.

During the January lockdown, pupils were set weekly PE challenges that were celebrated on the school social media channels. These included walks, games, skill-based challenges, HIIT and cardio challenges, and also family challenges. In addition, pupils and families were provided with mindfulness opportunities, such as Yoga Bugs.

Courtenay Cowperthwaite, assistant headteacher and PE lead at Thorpe Primary School said: "We are very proud to have been named district winners. We are very lucky that we have enthusiastic children and supportive parents, staff, and local community clubs that value the importance of physical activity and the positive effects it has on physical and mental wellbeing - especially in the current climate.

“We want to thank everyone who has engaged with our home learning challenges and individual and class challenges in school this academic year and also say a big thank you to Yorkshire Sport Foundation, The Youth Sport Trust and Active Schools Leeds for helping to promote the virtual opportunities and events.”

Left-to-right: Charlotte Ellis (PE and School Sport Officer, Yorkshire Sport Foundation), Lewis, Ava, Courtenay Cowperthwaite (Assistant Headteacher and PE Lead, Thorpe Primary School).

Alex Ogden, PE, and School Sport Manager at Yorkshire Sport Foundation, added: “Congratulations to everyone who is part of Thorpe Primary School on being named our district winners for Leeds.

“The last year provided many challenges to schools, but it has been great to see so many using PE, school sport and physical activity to support children. Research tells us that those keeping active can have significant benefits to physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, which have never been more important given what has happened over the last year or so.”